Bermuda / lawn reno help

proplat919July 30, 2014

Good morning everyone. I have finally reached a point of desperation and am reaching out for some help and advice. I�ll try to keep the story short as possible. Note that I live in the Greenville, SC area and have 8,500 square feet in the backyard with full irrigation. The only picture I have of the backyard is linked and I can get some more if needed. It is first thing in the morning so it looks like a lot of shade but there is a good bit of sun throughout the day.

We moved into a new construction home in February 2012. Front yard was sodded with what I am assuming is Tifway Bermuda. It was in rough shape as the home had been on the market for some time with little landscaping care. The backyard was supposedly seeded, but when we moved in, there was just a trace amount of Bermuda and primarily a good stand of weeds. For the first year, I just mowed frequently and fertilized based on a local Bermuda plan (before I found this site). Safe to say, the backyard was still in terrible shape.

Early summer of the following year, I decided to go ahead and Round Up the entire back yard, had it box bladed and hydroseeded with Bermuda. After seeing the germination, and looking back on its performance, I believe the contractor had put in some Rye with the Bermuda for quick germination and some green. I maintained a mowing and fertilization program consistent with what I have seen throughout this site, primarily the Bermuda Bible, but not cutting the new grass too short.
Fast forward to this past spring, there was nearly zero Bermuda that greened back up. I was basically left with a backyard of dirt as little weeds were growing either. By this point, I had hired a local service to control the weeds and the front yard has never looked better (doing the best I can at 1.25" with rotary � too big for reel mowing). He is entirely confused by the backyard though. So, I made the mistake and got a home soil test kit.

Everything came out fine, so I prepped the yard again and seeded it with BlackJack Bermuda. Had little to no germination and was watering 4 times/day @ 10 min with starter fertilizer. And that is where I currently stand. Nearly zero grass and now a good stand of weeds again as I have watered heavily and told the landscape contractor not to treat the backyard. I also checked with him to make sure a pre-emergent was not sprayed recently that would impede seed growth.

So I am trying to figure out what to do. I am sending my soil sample to Logan Labs this week and can post those results when they come in (won�t make the home test mistake again and all actions are pending correction of the soil). I�ve gotten a quotes for sod and with delivery, I�m looking at close to 3K not including labor to lay the sod. 17 pallets would be a bear for me and a couple friends. Given the moderate amount of shade I do have in the backyard, I have considered seeding a fescue lawn this fall in the back as I have a fence separating the front and back and could try to keep the Bermuda out that way. But all in all, I think I�m kind of grasping at straws here and my wife doesn�t want to hear anything about it after the multiple failures.

So, what would you all recommend? Let me know if you need further information or pictures and I�ll get those posted. Thanks in advance for any help!

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Now if you could tell me how you successfully killed the bermuda with little to no effort, you could market THAT! :) I'd love to be rid of Bermuda...but it's omnipresent in my environment.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:26AM
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Well 3-4 applications of round up was the best I could do...since I was planning on continuing with Bermuda anyways it wasn't a huge deal. I figured I would have some come back but obviously wasn't concerned with that.

On the other hand, I may be in the market for a more efficient way if I go the fescue route....

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:30AM
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